Douro river cruises

Explore Portugal’s stunning wine region and one of Europe's most beautiful stretches of countryside, the Douro Valley.

The Douro weaves through one of Europe’s most striking natural regions. Sun-drenched vineyards, charming villages and historical landmarks pepper the banks of the river, breaking up the sloping fertile lands and providing a rustic backdrop for your river journey.

Before reaching the Atlantic, the Douro splits the ancient city of Porto; a place steeped in the maritime heritage for which Portugal is known. It could be said that Portugal owes its very existence to the river, around which the country was founded thousands of years ago. Our Douro River cruises start and end in this illustrious city, offering a cultural bookend to a journey boasting picturesque surrounds every step of the way.

The spectacular Douro Valley

As one of the continent’s foremost and best-loved wine-producing regions, the Douro Valley provides plentiful opportunities to sample delightful vintages. As part of Emerald Waterways’ Secrets of the Douro river cruise, you’ll be afforded exclusive opportunities to learn more about the ever-popular local produce and find your inner sommelier.

A tour of the Douro Museum is a must-do for wine lovers on-board the Emerald Radiance. Included as part of the Secrets of the Douro river cruise, this museum explores the region’s wine-making heritage and secrets.

One of the undoubted highlights of the Secrets of the Douro river cruise is an EmeraldPLUS experience, a dinner in a Pinhão wine estate. Regional dishes and local wines provide an exceptional taste of local life as you raise a glass to toast the beauty of the Douro.

Emerald Radiance

In 2017, we introduced the magnificent Emerald Radiance to our fleet of Star-Ships, custom-built to navigate the waters of the Douro Valley and make the most of the delightful Portuguese climate. Our most intimate European ship to date, the Emerald Radiance has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surrounds.

Boasting a spacious open-air Sun Deck, wonderful dining areas and generously appointed suites and staterooms, every inch of this vessel has been designed for your comfort and enjoyment. Settle in and relax as the on-board team takes care of everything, from answering any questions that you may have about your itinerary to helping with your independent exploration.

Immerse in the rich history of the Douro region

As one of the oldest continually inhabited regions in Europe, northern Portugal has a colourful timeline dating back to the Neolithic period. From the Celts and Romans to the Moors and the Spanish; many civilisations have influenced the shaping of Portugal throughout history – gifting the country an incredible array of antiquities and cultural highlights.

Explore the architectural marvels of Porto, from the magnificent Palácio da Bolsa to the 12th-century Sé do Porto Cathedral, or step back in time at the exquisite Mateus Palace. Vega de Terron boasts its share of ancient infrastructure, including the charming village of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, while the Spanish city of Salamanca, located just beyond the Portuguese border, offers a feast of inspirational buildings in its UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre.

porto city guide

Porto city guide

Rising from the banks of the Douro, Porto is a cradle of history and culture, and has played a significant role in shaping the Portugal we know and love today. Uncover the history of this ancient city in our interactive visitor guide.

Explore the Douro's rich port winemaking legacy

As one of Europe’s most beloved wine-producing regions, the Douro Valley provides plenty of opportunities to sample delightful vintages. As part of your Emerald Waterways river cruise along the Douro, you’ll be able to make the most out of exclusive opportunities to learn more about the local produce and find your inner sommelier.

A tour of the Douro Museum is a must-do for wine lovers on board the Emerald Radiance during a Secrets of the Douro river cruise. This museum explores the region’s Port wine heritage and secrets – introducing you to the history, flavours and varieties of this popular aperitif.

One of the undoubted highlights of our Douro River cruises is an EmeraldPLUS dining experience within the grounds of Pinhão wine estate. Regional dishes and local wines provide an exceptional taste of local life as you raise a glass to toast the beauty of the Douro.

port wine guide

Port Wine guide

Brush up on your knowledge of Port ahead of your Douro River journey with our interactive guide, including popular pairings, tasting notes and a timeline of Port wine production.

Culinary highlights abound on the Douro

With its fertile slopes, historic quintas and close proximity to the seafood larder of the Atlantic, the Douro Valley is among the most esteemed regions for authentic local food and produce in Europe. You’re promised exceptional eating from the moment you arrive in this pristine corner of Portugal.

Among the many dishes we would recommend seeking out in the Douro Valley is bacalhau à bras, a hearty seafood plate consisting of cod, eggs, fried potatoes and black olives. Washed down with a glass of local white Port, there’s no better pairing for this dish – especially if it’s accompanied by the timeless sounds of authentic fado music.

portuguese dessert guide

Portuguese desserts guide

Sweet tooth? Portugal is the perfect place to indulge your love of puddings, with a roster of fine desserts to enjoy any time of day. Discover some of the Douro’s best-loved desserts in our in-depth guide.

Discover the serene highlights of the Douro

Discover the highlights of this beautiful Portuguese river in our video guide below.

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